…Nigeria’s Raw Material Agency Develops Technology to Produce “Kilishi” After 33 Years, DG, RMRDC
By Henry Umoru
. THE Senate and the Raw Material Research and Development Council, RMRDC, yesterday disagreed over performance index of the latter within the last 32 years.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja when he appeared before the Senator Uche Ekwunife, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Anambra Central led Senate Committee on Science and Technology for an Interactive session, the Director General of the Council, Professor Hussani Ibrahim told the Senate that the research council had done a lot within the last 30 years of its existence.
Members of the Committee however wondered why the Council has not saved the Nation from spending huge amount of dollars on yearly basis on importation of goods that can be produced locally.
Responding, Professor Hussani Ibrahim who explained that the Council has performed optimally within available resources, disclosed that the agency after 33 years of existence has successfully developed technology to produce “Kilishi.”
“Kilishi” is a popular locally spiced meat delicacy in the North of Nigeria.
The DG said : “Our 30 years of research activities, we are still the largest research Institute. But to be candid with you, we are making progress. For now, we have developed a technology to optimize Kilishi production. Research activities takes time to produce concrete results.
“We have developed two varieties of Sorghum, we collaborated with agricultural research Institutes, pharmaceutical industries, because we produce ethanol from it and that is the basic raw material for the production of sanitizers.
“Also from the same Sorghum, we developed other products like Glucose syrup, livestock feeds, material for breweries and starch and presently ,we are collaborating with Ahmadu Bello University ( ABU Zaria) for production of Modular Refinery.”
Earlier, a member of the committee, Senator Ibrahim Hadeija ( APC Jigawa North) queried the RMRDC boss on what the agency was doing with regard to the provision of raw materials for drug related items the country spends $809m to import on yearly basis , Sugar costing Nigeria $46m on yearly basis, Tyres costing the country $309m and Wheat , costing the Nation $1.09billion on yearly basis.
“What has your agency done or doing to save the country from spending these huge amount of monies on importation of goods that can be produced locally through required raw materials.”
Also, another member of the committee , Senator Clifford Ordia ( PDP Edo Central) who tackled the DG, said that the performance index he had given, all dwelled on process story of doing this and that without concrete achievement in terms of raw materials development in line with the core mandate of the Research Council.
Ordia said, “Is this the success story that you are going to tell us after 33 years? There is nothing here. We are just surviving on importation of raw materials. You have not been able to have your own done. This agency is just wasting our money. ”
Speaking further, the RMRDC boss who lamented that the Research Council has no laboratory of its own aside other financial, said, “We don’t have a laboratory. We use other laboratories existing in the country.
“Funds for RMRDC come mainly from 1% of Nigeria’s Import tariffs. The agency has the core mandate to develop raw material to boost local production and help reserve foreign exchange.”
In her remarks, Chairman of the Committee , Senator Uche Ekwunife who insisted that the agency must practically leave up to its billings as far as core mandate is concerned, said, “Your core mandate is to develop local materials for the local materials so as to maximize the cost of importing the materials. We cannot produce raw materials in this country. Raw materials is the bedrock, the foundation of industrialisation.
“The essence of setting up your agency is to ensure that we generate materials for our own local industries.”
She said that the agency will still need to appear before the committee on its expenditure as contained in tbe 2018 and 2019 budgets.